G8 mulling ways of move out of crisis mode

The communique showed the group more positive about the economy than it has been since the credit crisis deepened last year, although there was no sign of a unified line on “stress tests” for banks — one issue where North America has been pushing Europe to act more.

“There are increased signs of stabilisation in our economies,” said the draft, obtained by Reuters on Saturday before the release of an official communique later in the day.
Ministers, meeting in southern Italy, discussed an “appropriate framework” under which stimulus policies would eventually be ended, and asked the International Monetary Fund to analyze possible strategies, the draft said.

More stimulus if needed

But it added that the group was fully committed to previous international agreements on aid for the world economy, and would provide more stimulus if needed as long as it did not threaten to drive up inflation or do lasting damage to state budgets.

“While the economic outlook is improving, the situation remains uncertain,” the draft said.

“We must remain vigilant to ensure that consumer and investor confidence is fully restored and that growth is underpinned by stable financial markets and strong fundamentals.”

Pressure has been building in the G8 for talks on ways to wind down the stimulus as soon as it is no longer needed — “exit strategies” that would prevent market interest rates from climbing high enough to threaten economic recovery.

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